I hit a squirrel today...

I was driving myself and my mother to church this morning. I pulled out of my neighborhood and headed down the road as is usual on Sunday mornings when I am at home. My mind was probably contemplating the highest mysteries of the universe and the Catholic catechism when I noticed a little squirrel - gray and small - darting about on the road. The green Pontiac in front of me did some evasive maneuvering and dodging as the poor little animal darted and changed directions about three times. It passed between the Pontiac's wheels as I hit the brakes and tried to steer hard right to avoid the fuzzy thing. After all, I would rather not kill an animal, especially on my way to church as we thank God for the sanctity of life. Even moreso, it was only a baby squirrel. He made it between my front tires and I fixed my gaze upon the rear view mirror to see if he had survived, like that woodchuck did last year.

*THUMP*     Nope.

Was the squirrel’s life only worth a quick thump between my rear left tire and the shoddy pavement? I suppose I might have missed him had I swerved severely to the shoulder at the risk of putting a nice car (that isn’t even mine) into the deep ditch off the side of the road. Was that all his short existence was for? Did he live merely to be pummeled by my vehicle in a moment of confusion? Sure, we all look at the poor raccoon, or deer, or unidentifiable animal on the shoulder - but it doesn’t seem to make you feel truly bad, a true destroyer of nature, until you actually kill one. Who knows, maybe I didn’t even kill the squirrel - he looked pretty intact from the rear view mirror. He may have been suffering in pain for quite a long time before dying.

I may sound like a raving lunatic or a member of the bleeding heart society. It’s just my first time actually hitting an animal with a vehicle. Before today, I don’t believe I’ve ever killed anything larger than a house fly.

I drove by later in today and found the squirrel’s remains still in the spot where I had saw him last, however he was about as flat as the road surrounded by a small greasy spot. That is all that is left of the poor little guy. Requiscat in pace, little friend.